Test Out Your Best Recipe at Marin Country Mart's Annual Pie-Baking Contest

Feeling extra American? Test your dough-rolling, filling-making, pie-assembling skills at the Marin Country Mart this Saturday for their third annual Pie Baking Contest. The ladies from Three Babes Bakeshop will be hosting a free apple pie baking demo at 10:30 a.m. The demo will be followed by a free-for-all pie-making contest at 11 a.m. Entrants must bring their pie to the farmers' market tent by 10 a.m. Whoever's pie pleases the judges palates most wins $200 and permanent bragging rights. Pies will be judged based on taste, presentation, and flakiness of crust.

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Marin County Asking Residents Nicely To Stop Drinking Soda This Summer

Flickr/vox efx
Here's a thing that'll go over well with the kids: The Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution making June, July, and August "Soda Free Summer" months. While the measure doesn't outright ban sugary carbonated beverages, it does encourage Marin residents to adopt "soda free policies" at sporting events, camps, day gyms, and so on, as well as "host a soda free party or potluck." This is gonna be the best summer ever guys!

See also: City's Anti-Obesity Soda Ban Won't Affect Obesity
Forbidden-Fruit Flavored: The City's Efforts to Prevent Kids From Guzzling Monster Drinks May do the Opposite

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Drink of the Week: Champion's Cup at Sweetwater Café

Lou Bustamante
Despite having grown up in the Bay Area, I never made it to the original Sweetwater, and arriving to the new incarnation of the music hall for brunch created more questions than expectations. Would it be filled with twirling deadheads, wealthy Marinites, or regular people? Would I be eating inside a huge, dark space? Would the cocktails come in plastic cups with juices from a soda gun?

See Also: Drink Like a Big Shot at Capo's
The Oaxacan Cross at Lolinda

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Drink of the Week: Prado at Copita

Lou Bustamante
The power of food to transport us with flavors and smells is what makes eating and drinking such a personal experience. It is what endeared me to the lively and cozy Copita Tequileria y Comida in Sausalito. Sitting at the bar takes me to the beaches of Jalisco, Mexico, where a yearly tradition with friends is all about sun, ceviche, tequila, and great conversations fueled by even more tequila. In other words, it takes me to my happy place.

Of the eight cocktails on the list, it was the mighty Prado ($9, blanco tequila, lime, maraschino, agave, egg white), Spanish for "meadow," that most impressed me. Complex and refreshing at the same time, it lavishes the drinker with a frothy texture and an almost minty flavor. If a last word (gin, lime, green chartreuse, maraschino) and a margarita had a baby, this would be it.

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Get Your Agave On: National Tequila Day and Boozy Fun

Lou Bustamante
Blue agave growing in Jalisco, Mexico
With National Tequila Day hitting us smack dab in the Tuesday, you now have a thinly veiled excuse to go out and have some margaritas or tequila at brand new Copita, Tommy's Mexican, Mosto, or Tres for lunch and dinner. The rest of the week is boozy too, and we have a look at where to quench your thirst over the humpday and beyond.

National Tequila Day Celebration at Copita
Where: Copita, 739 Bridgeway (at Anchor), Sausalito, 331-7400
When: Tuesday, July 24
The rundown: At Joanne Weir's new Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, the celebration is happening with tequila flights. Six dollars get you a taste of three Herradura tequilas including the blanco, reposado, and añejo for the great way to celebrate the day. If straight tequila isn't your thing, belly up to the bar for one of their house margaritas.

Mezcalistas Pop-up Mezcaleria
Where: The Bold Italic, 34 Page (at Franklin)
When: Wednesday, July 25, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $60, tickets available online
The rundown: Mezcal, tequila's rustic cousin, is making serious headway into bars, and for good reason. Gone is the "worm at the bottom of the bottle" rotgut as the only choice, and now craft spirits from small villages are becoming more filling bar shelves. Learn more about the spirit, its production, and a tasting of mezcals by the Mezcalistas bloggers. Included with entry are tacos from Tamarindo restaurant's El TacoBike, and cocktails. Included in the tastings are Alipus (this will be its U.S. premiere), Pierde Almas, Del Maguey, Metl (espadin and madrecuishe -- not currently available in the Bay Area), and Wahaka.

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An Outstanding Beer Dinner, In a Field

Categories: Beer, Marin County

This field in Petaluma is outstanding in its field.
Outstanding in the Field isn't your ordinary pop-up restaurant. For starters, there's no restaurant. Diners have the pleasure of dining al fresco at absurdly long, white linen-draped tables on local farms, gardens and ranches. The setting goes a long way in driving home the organization's mission -- to re-connect diners to the land while honoring local farmers and artisan food purveyors. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to sit back and receive the bounty of the land. And, in the case of the next Bay Area dining experience, to soak up some suds.

In a few short weeks, the Outstanding crew brings a beer dinner to Sonoma County. Attendees will dine on the scenic farmland of Little Organic Farm in Petaluma. Many of the produce elements of the meal, including the farm's famous potatoes, have been grown mere inches from the dinner table (locavores - it doesn't get more local than this). Fresh from his gig cooking the world's largest beer dinner at the World Beer Cup awards gala, Chef Adam Dulye of Monk's Kettle will be preparing the beer-soaked feast. Dulye plans to highlight local vendors such as Liberty Duck Farms, Tomales Bay oysters, and local fish from Monterey Fish. Because the dinner falls on the summer solstice, Dulye will pull seasonally-appropriate vegetables like favas, corn, and fresh shelling beans from other local farms.

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Tivo Alert Staycation: Dine with Rachael Ray Around the Bay

rsz_RachaelsVacation_lead.jpgAs we mentioned some time ago, Rachael Ray spent some time in the Bay Area putting together a show for her latest series, Rachael's Vacation, which aired last week and will run again February 6 at 11 p.m., February 7 at 2:30 a.m., and February 15 at 2:30 p.m. on the Food Network. 

But for those of you who'd like to read it and weep -- or just follow in her tiny footsteps -- we'll share her rather interesting itinerary with you.

The show's regular intro is sheer Bizarro World comedy: "Have I got a crazy life?! I mean, between 30 Minute Meals, the magazine, the shows, the books, my family, how's a girl supposed to catch her breath? Well, I'm about to show ya. I'm about to sneak away for a quick trip and the best part -- you're coming with me!"

As if the show we're watching weren't on TV, just like 30 Minute Meals and her talk show, and didn't involve real work.

That aside, for this sneaky quick trip Rachael visits Berkeley, Mill Valley, and Sausalito. No cliche is left unturned  -- in Berkeley, "you'll find a bohemian vibe"; Mill Valley is "nestled among redwoods and canyons" and is "a creative hideaway for artists" (already rich ones, we presume); and Sausalito is "a cute little seaside village that is a must-see for any traveller' -- but we approve of many of Rachael's choices, having tried them ourselves. And therefore we're also willing to follow her to the ones we haven't visited.
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